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A humanoid robot hand with a human hand as a comparison.
The hypothetical grays from ufology (left) are humanoid creatures, as the comparison with humans (right) shows.

The property humanoid ( hybrid formation from Latin humānus 'human' and the suffix -oid to old Greek εἶδος eidos [ ˈêːdos ] 'shape') means similar to or human-like (analogous to android - similar to a man and gynoid - similar to a woman ) and denotes the property of having a shape similar to a person or a human appearance (or shape). The human form is also called anthropomorphism (in the scientific environment) .

An early use of the term "humanoid" can be found in biology , for beings of human form (for example members of the hominid family ):

"... a generalized humanoid stock separated off from all monkeys and apes ..."

Nowadays the property is mostly used in robotics and science fiction , especially for machines , robots and fictional alien life forms . Robots with only a rudimentary human resemblance are referred to as humanoid robots - including some Mechs - while those with a deceptively real human resemblance are called androids .


Humanoids are often characterized, among other things, by the fact that they ...

  • for getting around ...
    • primarily a walking upright on two legs use
  • anatomically or mechanically always have a torso ( trunk ) as the central element of the body on which ...
    • the two legs ,
    • at least one head
    • and at least two arms are located
    • possibly hands with fingers and opposing thumbs ;
    • if available, have a general skeletal structure that largely corresponds to that of a human .
  • use language for communication if necessary .

Web links

Wiktionary: humanoid  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. humanoid (English) - in Merriam-Webster , 2019.
  2. Quoted from John Arthur Thomson: The Outline of Science
  3. humanoid - in the Duden (last change on November 9, 2017)
  4. humanoid - Pons , 2019.
  5. Robotics: The Humanoids Are Coming - Spectrum , October 11, 2013
  6. Star Wars MMORPG on Companions (English; accessed November 9, 2017)